Kenya Railways raises penalties for cancelling SGR tickets


Kenya earned nearly Sh10.33 billion from the SGR in the first full year of operations. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) has increased penalties for cancellation and rescheduling of the Nairobi-Mombasa standard gauge railway (SGR) tickets to discourage termination of bookings.

The KRC said yesterday passengers cancelling their booked trips would be deducted 30 per cent of the fares up from the previous 20 percent.

Those rescheduling trips will now be deducted 10 per cent of the ticket price, the first time the fee is being introduced.

An economy class ticket on the Nairobi-Mombasa route costs Sh1,000 while a first-class ticket goes for Sh3,000. This means those cancelling trips will part with between Sh300 and Sh900.

“Rescheduling attracts a fee of 10 per cent of the ticket price while refund a fee of 30 per cent of the ticket price. It should be done between 48-72 hours before the time of travel for individual and group bookings respectively,” said the KRC on its Twitter handle.

Kenya Railways in February banned rescheduling of tickets to tame fraud at its train stations.

The rescheduling and cancellation of trips were at the core of a ticketing fraud, which saw the police arrest three Chinese officials and four Kenyans who were behind the SGR ticketing scandal.

Investigators said the scam involved creating refunds for tickets already issued to passengers on board for each of the four trips and channelling the cash elsewhere.

Kenya Railways officials are said to have raised the red flag on an unusually high number of refunds, triggering an investigation that is likely to unearth millions of shillings in lost revenue since President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the service on June 1, 2017.

Intense monitoring revealed that the passengers who had allegedly been refunded were indeed inside the train ready to travel.

Kenya earned nearly Sh10.33 billion from the SGR in the first full year of operations, in a move which shows that the mega project will take longer to break even.

Freight services, which started in January 2018, generated nearly $86.32 million (Sh8.72 billion under) in the year to December, according to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.